Red Currant Jam

I made red currant jam. I picked 500 g from our red currant bush and made jam by adding 250 g of sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. I also added Gelierfix, a pectin-based gelling agent, according to the instructions to help the jam set. I canned the jam in a water bath for ten minutes, so it is shelf-stable. Looking forward to eating the jam for breakfast or using it for baking in the winter months.

Peas and Scapes

Today’s harvest

I went to the garden this morning to water, and I harvested peas and garlic scapes. The garden is looking good, everything is growing nicely except the kale, which has become victim to some nibbler. If I am lucky, I will have one surviving plant. Other than that, everything looks great. The corn is coming up (I think, unless I mistook some weeds for it) and the dahlias (that I had stored in the basement since the fall under complete neglect) are also growing. I am excited.

I will have the peas for lunch (in a salad most likely) and will make pesto with the garlic scapes.

Planting Flowers and Corn

Today I direct-seeded Zinnias, Cosmos, Nigella and poppies (towards the fence) as well as nasturtium (in between the tomatoes and the kale and chard). I also planted corn: King Philip corn, a Wampanoag native flint corn (I received the seeds from True Love Seeds through a friend) and glass gem corn (seeds saved from last year). I also reseeded carrots. My dahlia tubers will go in the ground tomorrow. Miraculously, every single one survived the winter in my basement being completely neglected. Looking forward to lots of flowers this season.

I also harvested the last of my porch radishes for this spring. So crisp and sharp!

Porch Arugula

I harvested a huge bowl of arugula on my back porch today. Now there are only leaf lettuces left in that big pot and they have all the space they need. The radishes, flowers and herbs are looking good. I also transplanted a Thai pepper into a big container yesterday (bought as, sadly, none my my seeds germinated).

Arugula pot before harvesting
… and after
One corner of my porch this afternoon

Spring

I spent a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon weeding, trellising the peas and chatting to passers-by. I also harvested my first three stalks of asparagus and cut some lily of the valley.

Sugar snap peas underplanted with lettuce. Garlic in the middle, and lily of the valley and asparagus in the back towards the fence.
Our cherry blossom tree in the backyard

Spring Planting and First Harvest

Peas

I have not been in the garden for a while because I had COVID for the past three and a half weeks and was not feeling too great. I had managed to sow peas and spring greens in early April and they are sprouting. Today, I did more direct sowing. I sowed red beets (Detroit Dark Red), carrots (Scarlet Nantes and Danvers Half Long), Rainbow Chard and cilantro. I also transplanted a parsley plant I had purchased a few days ago and four kale seedlings I had started indoors a few weeks ago. We still do not have water in the garden. Fingers crossed for some showers in the next few days, so I do not have to schlepp water from home.

I also harvested my first crops today, spring onions. They were so fragrant! And the asparagus is getting ready.

Spring onions before trimming …
… and after
My purple asparagus poking out

The Garden Still Feeds Us Through the Winter

Harissa-roasted squash, Brussels sprouts and leeks with goat cheese and pepitas

I now really finished the last of my butternut squash. I had cubed it and stored it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I roasted it with some leeks and Brussels that were past their prime and topped everything with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious! The next morning, for breakfast I had the leftovers over sauteed kale, topped with a fried egg. So good.

Before it went into the oven

Eating from the Garden in January

I finally roasted the last home-grown beets today and made an arugula/beet/goat cheese salad with toasted pepitas. I still have three butternuts and plenty of garlic in my pantry (I am at the last head of hardneck but still have almost the entire braid of softnecks left). The beets (Golden and Chiogga and regular) were super sweet and yummy. I had harvested them at the end of October and they kept very well in the fridge. So good to still be enjoying my harvest.